Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Fun Trip!

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Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you cram every single activity you can into every single minute. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more worn out than you left.

The other kind is all about relaxing. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Maybe you spend a lot of time on the beach with some drinks. Or possibly you spend your whole vacation at some kind of resort, getting pampered the entire time. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.

There’s no best to vacation. Whichever way you prefer, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.

Hearing loss can ruin a vacation

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, particularly if you’re not aware of it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no idea they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv up and up and up.

The nice thing is that there are a few proven ways to reduce the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing exam is obviously the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are before you go.

How can hearing loss impact your vacation

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. And while some of them may seem a little insignificant at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are a few common instances:

  • Language barriers are even more challenging: Coping with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very loud, makes it much more difficult.
  • Special moments with friends and relatives can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.

Some of these negative situations can be averted by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the best way to keep your vacation on track.

If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?

All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s not at all the case! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly stress-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is obviously good travel advice.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a few things you can do:

  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent problems from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your suggested maintenance is current!
  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Always make certain you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. You might need to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
  • Pre-planning is a smart idea: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more difficulties).

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or possibly it’s the airways. Many people have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to recognize before you head to the airport.

  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, taking a shower, or going for a swim (or in a super noisy setting), you should be using your devices.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is extremely useful, not shockingly. You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right kind of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone in this way.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good idea to enable flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be difficult to hear so be certain that you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
  • Do I have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s generally a good plan to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. Never let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can create a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • Should I be aware of my rights? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have many special rights. But basically, it comes down to this: information must be accessible to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.
  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specially made to help people with hearing aids hear their environment better.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a positive attitude.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the unavoidable challenge happens.

But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. When something goes wrong, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

Getting a hearing exam and making sure you have the right equipment is usually the beginning of that preparation for individuals who have hearing loss. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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